Paralysis is a loss of nerve function or muscle power resulting in
an inability to move. When nerve cells in the brain or other parts of the body
are damaged by injury or disease, the body parts controlled by those nerve or
brain cells do not function.
The damage may cause mild or severe loss of function and may be
temporary or permanent. The degree of paralysis depends on:
Which nerve cells are damaged and, when
paralysis is caused by brain damage, how much of the brain is
How quickly the blood supply returns to the area, how
quickly pressure is taken off the nerve, or how soon the disease causing the
problem is corrected.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine